I may be bias because I am a personal trainer but I feel like food has taken over all things social, emotional and even physical. I understand that food is an art form. Enjoying the pure essence of something that entertains your taste buds is enjoyable. I get it. But since when did a 'Foodie' become a personality type?
I've coached hundreds of people. Nutrition is the hardest hurdle to tackle because of all the habits that one has to change.
I've come up with a little list of foodie personality types. If you do consider yourself a 'foodie' then learning how to navigate these constructs is going to be vital to your health and fitness.
1. Licensed Snacker
Instead of eating true meals that will actually be satiating this person eats snacks all day long. A handful of almonds here and a spoonful of peanut butter there. It's John's birthday at work so a piece of a cake at work won't hurt right. Let's not forget about their favorite candy spread throughout the day. But it is only the 100 calorie pack so it doesn't really count.
The reasons for snacking vary but they revolve around boredom, anxiety, curiosity, or because food is in arms length which is just pure habit. I've found that this person is often frustrated by not hitting there weight loss goals. They believe that they practice self restraint because they didn't eat the whole cake or all the peanut butter. If you were to ask them if they ate well today they will tell you with a straight face that they only ate 1-2 times per day. Because snacks don't count right?
Guess what, those jelly beans add up. Sorry.
Priority number one for this personality type is to realize that all calories count, in all portions and amounts.
Anyone with this habit has to wean themselves off this behavior slowly. Because they typically snack like it's second nature. A helpful tool to change this habit is to start tracking food intake. This will paint the picture of where you stand calorically. Another good tool is to make sure you are getting enough fiber. It is difficult to consume nutritionally empty foods and have a good daily fiber intake. Men should consume somewhere between 27 - 38 grams per day and women should consume somewhere between 21 - 26 grams per day. This nutrient slows down digestion and promotes fullness! Fiber rich foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Another great technique is to practice more food caution. Before you eat something ask the question, "Why am I snacking?" Is this behavior due to my nerves, anxiety, or boredom? Or is this a coping mechanism?"
2. The Chock Full Eater
Do you have your going out to eat jeans? Or do you have an outfit that you wear that hides how full you are because you know you are going to go ham at your favorite restaurant tomorrow evening? Unzipping your pants midway through your meal to 'make room'. Do you have a habit of leaning back in the chair and rubbing your stomach only to brag about how full you are?
This person may live by the notion of, "I see food, I consume food until it is gone."
You can chalk it up to having a big appetite, not eating enough at breakfast, or because you skipped lunch so you could eat a big dinner. Your parents may even have made you eat all your food on your plate before you could get up from the dinner table. That doesn't mean that you have to eat yourself into a coma every time the opportunity presents itself.
Granted you may have the work ethic of a race horse, but working out is often seen as an excuse to overindulge and eat more food than you need.
My wife is my witness that I can not stand to be full. I find it to be extremely uncomfortable and the worst frame of mind to be in. I once read a book about the Okinawan culture and their eating principles. I'm always curious of other cultures, especially cultures that are living well beyond 100 gracefully. They have an interesting saying that is called "Hara Hachi Bu." It is a saying they say so they will stop eating before they are full. They eat to 80% full and push the plate away. They don't eat until they are full, they eat until they are no longer hungry.
Nutrition is a skill and you have to practice mindfulness.
Practice taking time between each bite to actually enjoy and savor the particular flavors of your food. Patience during your meal is valuable. Your brain doesn't immediately register that your stomach is full and that can lead into to overeating.
Improving your awareness is key no matter what your food personality might be.
Be on the lookout for part two tomorrow.